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Competition to visualise open government data

Who loves data? If we’re talking about the android from Star Trek: TNG, then I do, and if we’re talking about the thing that’s not the plural of anecdotes, then I’m pretty sure the answer is everyone.

If you love data, then you’ll definitely love visualising data, and Google have teamed up with the Open Knowledge Foundation to launch a data-visualising competition. Nobody has more data than… well, Google, but second in that race is Governments, and the world’s governments are releasing a massive shedload of open data for people to play with.

International Year of Statistics Video Contest

In case you’d already forgotten, 2013 is the International Year of Statistics (I had; turns out Katie told us about it just after the New Year). One of the many activities going on is a video contest sponsored by the publishers Wiley.

Take it away, Wiley!

We invite videos of four minutes in length or less that illustrate

  • how statistics impacts individual lives, improves society, or in general makes the world more a better place
  • how statistical thinking can be brought to bear on important issues of our day
  • interesting careers in statistics (tell the world why your job in statistics is a great job, or why it is interesting and fun to be a statistician)

Prizes of $250 to $1000 will be awarded for the best videos, with special prizes for “the best videos by a person or persons 18 years of age or less and the best non-English language videos”.

Submissions must be received by February the 28th, so get rolling.

More information

Statistics 2013

Video contest details

BSA STEM Poster Competition – Mission to Mars

Following on from the Maths Careers website’s ‘Mathematics of Planet Earth’ poster competition, I’m going on the assumptions that 1. everyone loves poster competitions, and 2. if they’re related somehow to a particular planet, that’s even better.

The Manchester branch of the British Science Association is running a competition to design a poster around a theoretical upcoming manned mission to Mars, describing some science that solves a problem the Mars lander might face. I think we should encourage people to enter mathematics-based posters (firmly wedging the M in STEM).

How much equipment would they need to carry, and how much would it weigh, and how much fuel would they therefore need? How does the addition of human cargo affect the landing trajectory? And what can the crew possibly use to keep themselves occupied on the long journey except some maths puzzles you’ve invented?

The competition is aimed at school years 7-9 (ages 11-14), and while it’s being run by the Manchester branch, nothing on the website says you have to be based in Manchester to enter.

More information

Competition details

The Greater Manchester STEM Centre

CREST Awards

Registration for the Alan Turing Cryptography Competition 2013 is open

Following on from the huge success that was their inaugural competition earlier this year, mathematicians from the University of Manchester have put together another Cryptography Competition in honour of father of modern everything, Alan Turing.

This time, the competition is open to teams of school children from all over the UK, and comprises a six-chapter story featuring Alice and Bob Mike and Ellie, who get “caught up in a cryptographic adventure”. Solving all the puzzles and cracking the codes faster than other people gets you on the leader board, and there are prizes for being near the top as well as extra prizes for randomly-selected teams who’ve solved everything. (You know that since it’s a maths department, their randomisation algorithms will be top-notch). It’s also possible to enter as a non-schoolchild, and check your answers on the site, although you won’t be eligible for prizes. The competition is aimed at UK school years 7-11 (age 11-16), although I can confirm it’s dead good fun for anyone interested in cryptography puzzles themed around exciting storylines.

More information

Alan Turing Cryptography Competition 2013

Manchester University press release

Via Nick Higham on Twitter.

Maths Careers Poster Competition 2012/2013

The IMA’s Maths Careers campaign runs a yearly competition for posters illustrating applications of maths. Entry for the 2012/13 competition has opened, and it’s on the theme of the planet Earth, to join in with the Mathematics of Planet Earth year 2013. UK students between the ages of 11 and 19 are invited to submit posters about “A planet to discover“, “A planet supporting life“, “A planet organised by humans” or “A planet at risk“.

The deadline for submissions is my birthday, the 14th of January, and the winners from the three age categories will each receive “an Android tablet”.

Find more info and the entry form on the Maths Careers website.

via Maths Careers on Twitter

Walking on π in the NSF Visualization Challenge

Fran Aragón Artacho has emailed to tell us that he and Jon Borwein have entered their image of a walk on the first 100 billion digits of π in the National Science Foundation (of the USA)’s International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge. Fran says:

Jon Borwein and I have submitted our picture of a walk based on 100 billion digits of pi to a visualisation contest from the NSF (National Science Foundation). The winners will appear in Science (one will be selected for the front cover!). And we have good news: we are one of the 10 finalists in the Illustration category!